Thursday, 16 April 2009

The Fabulously Fascinating Subject of Harassment Therapy…Oh, and a Comment to Read

Hi folks - had a brace of great gym works yesterday - one in the morning and one early evening - and very nearly (but not quite - couldn't quite lock my arms out) achieved a personal best chest press. So I'm in fine fettle today to tackle the final writing chores as regards volume 2 (and I have already begun proofreading / correcting earlier sections) despite having become somewhat despondent of late having come to realise that I had become far too ambitious in my approach, both as regards to the structure of the story arc and in my scene / character development - not being a real writer - but having invested so much in this project I have little option other than to stick with it, despite the fact that it is gradually turning into War and Peace. Under the circumstances then I am even more grateful than usual for all the supportive and inspiring emails I have received - and particularly for those providing ideas and inspirational content that I can share with you on this site (it takes some of the load off my shoulders at this most hectic of stages). None more so than the anonymous author of the account I published previously on this site dealing with dietary discipline and sexual aversion therapy and with whom I'm happy to say I'm still corresponding and who's story I shall be continuing (where we left off) next post (with the help of an illustration provided by the authoress - and perhaps one or two sourced by yours truly).
Currently we are discussing the fabulously fascinating subject of so called 'harassment therapy' - an apparently inexhaustible vein of startling 'truth stranger than fiction' material. Indeed, much of the latter draws remarkable parallels with some of the events depicted in the INSTITUTIONALISED (click to preview volume 1, if you haven't already)series, despite the fact that the latter is a work of total fiction that came straight from the more murky stretches of my fevered imagination on hot sticky summer afternoons. Some of the accounts - the result of my anonymous benefactor's researching skills, it must be said - you quite literally couldn't make up. Suffice it to say that, translocated to the virtual world of the fictional novel, some of the forms of discipline thought up by these professionals can only be described as exquisite - there is just no other word for it. In the real world, it seems, there exist (or have existed) regimens and impositions that I would have thought twice about including in my writing (had I sufficient imagination and inventiveness in the first place) for fear of accusations of implausibility...And I guess that if one was to classify the overriding interest catered for within the INSTITUTIONALISED story arc - taking into account all of the different fetishes brought into play within the pages - it would, in one word, be discipline. If a discipline fetish, per se, exists, then I would say that would be the driving force behind the work.

The only thing that seems lacking is any overt admission of the use of the cane or strap - but even there there are certain implications written 'between the lines' if one peers carefully enough. For example there is an account of a girl being made to scrub a shower cubical with a toothbrush (not a particularly unusual imposition in itself - almost traditional, in its way) and one of the pair of supervising nurses then leaving to fetch something that she says will 'encourage the girl to work a little harder' (or words to that effect)... I have to say that my imagination, for one, went into overdrive when I read that.

And then, just when I thought I'd seen everything, I came across an account of a young female voluntary patient who, having given the required seventy-two hours notice that she wished to leave, as was her right, was being 'pushed' and harassed with the sole purpose of getting her to 'crack' under the strain. She was required, carefully and under strict supervision, to make up her bed - only to have it immediately torn apart again by one of the nurses. Then the procedure would be repeated, over and over - and if she was to complain or lose her temper, then that could easily be interpreted as aggression and perhaps taken as a sign of underlying mental disturbance. The hope seemed to be that if such an 'episode' could be triggered then the staff might be able to get her reclassified as a compulsorily admitted patient - then, of course she could be kept there under their authority whether she liked it or not (for her own good of course). Wow! it could have come straight from my book - I wonder if it worked?

Well, there will be doubtless more emerging from that particular direction - and we will visit it in fine detail on another occasion. For now, though I just want to point out that a new comment has been left on the post; Another Note from Judith's Aunt and a Comment from Yours Truly (click to read the original post and comment). And if the institutionalised military-style drilling and disciplining of late-teenage girls is of interest to you (penal rather than 'therapeutic) the check out this account of life at the Hay Institution for Girls (click to read) (includes behavioral guidelines from the official report). By the way; the pic at the top right of this post is a recreation of a typical girl's cell at Hay - far too spacious, I would say.

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